What to drink with zucchini
Food Network host Claire Robinson offers a cocktail recipe to serve with zucchini. Of course, it's a zucchini tini.
The Associated Press
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Zucchini is the summer vegetable that keeps on giving. Anyone with a summer garden usually harvests more zucchini than they know what to do with. Luckily, zucchini is versatile. Ratatouille, zucchini bread and grated zucchini are obvious choices.
But with so many possibilities, pairing drinks could be a chore. Which is why Food Network host Claire Robinson comes at it from another angle, using the zucchini to make a drink she calls the zucchini tini.
"Zucchini is an awesome vegetable, and it actually contains quite a bit of water," she says. "I love to extract the delicate flavor of zucchini water and add it to cocktails when serving zucchini. This carries the vegetable's notes throughout a meal."
To make zucchini water, Robinson grates a large zucchini into a fine mesh strainer set over a bowl. She then tosses the grated zucchini with a pinch of coarse salt and allows it to sit for 15 minutes.
The grated zucchini then can be pressed (using hands or the back of a sturdy wooden spoon) to extract the water.
Robinson's cocktail also includes gin and unfiltered sake, which is "wonderfully sweet and starchy, as it is made from rice, and pairs amazingly well with zucchini water. Gin has the flavor of juniper berry and ties everything together perfectly."
Another good pairing with zucchini is mint. Robinson says if you want to save your zucchini for the meal, serve up a classic mojito.
Start to finish: 5 minutes
½ ounce (1 tablespoon) zucchini water (see note)
2 ounces unfiltered cold sake
1 ounce gin
1 thin slice of zucchini, for garnish
In a cocktail shaker, combine the zucchini water, sake and gin. Fill the shaker with ice, then shake well and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with the zucchini slice.
Note: To make zucchini water, grate a large zucchini into a fine mesh strainer set over a bowl. Toss the grated zucchini with a pinch of coarse salt and allows it to sit for 15 minutes. The grated zucchini then can be pressed (using hands) to extract the water.
Recipe from Claire Robinson, host of Food Network's "5 Ingredient Fix"
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